In response to Fletcher1's comment:
Thanks. I don't think I am necessary bringing the most reasoned argument to the table here and I might be totally naive about things if everything gets worked out before the end of the year and the shortened season provides an exciting playoff battle. Maybe my personal disappointment id seeping into my opinions about the bigger picture, but the basis of my concern, or worry, is this:
1. That a prolonged work stoppage might be very damaging in a number of NHL cities and may be difficult to recover from. In some places where the 'slow bleed' of viability has been under way, a long stoppage could be a knockout blow. I'm not suggesting that teams will up and fold, but they might just keep bleeding instead of recovering when things are back on and their owners won't spend money. I don't think Dater is just being dramatic. Two guys on my beer league team have had season tickets since '96 and cancelled them last week. I think that is dumb, but it does seem to be happening. And I don't care much about losing southern teams with questionable fan bases, but I think Columbus and Denver are good hockey towns (both sold out for a half dozen years). Now, I think they are twisting in the wind because of the desires of owners who are in much better situation. I don't understand how the owners remain a unified front when the risks/costs of the lookout seem so much greater for some.
2. It seems like an unecessary stalemate to me. The players definitely had a favorable situation for a while. The owners took back a bunch last time and stand to take back a bunch this time. It's hard not to conclude that a meeting in the middle would be favorable for everyone, compared to a long work stoppage. It is also hard not to conclude that the ego of the negotiators plays a role in this. Bettman can't cave and has to save face. Fehr's reputation as a hawkish negotiator goes out the window if the players lose badly. Both guys seem like lousy negotiators, froma big picture standpoint.
3. I don't think anyone wins if this goes on any longer. The 'winner' will be getter a bigger piece of a smaller pie. Then calculate all that was lost during the stoppage, and I'm not sure it makes any sense. Or, those who win are already the successful franchises and the gap grows larger between profitable and unprofitable teams. I think the league is better when more teams can consider FA signings (within a cap mind you) and the competitive balance is better.
4. I'm convinced we'll be in the exact same place on January 1st or next summer or whatever. The same negotiations and the same numbers. Everybody has flexed their muscles made good on promises to walk away. Can't the real work begin now? Whatever the terms may be of an eventual agreement -- can't that be determined now? Why lose all of the jobs associated with hockey and alienate fans when the outcome/compromise can already be predicted, for the most part.
I realize that analysis is full of holes and is overly simplistic, but I've typed enough in this thread.
Stop being so apologetic. This is a stupid hockey forum. We regularly discuss/debate trivialities as shallow as Tim Thomas's politics, skating clowns, and the perils of drafting goalies.
Prognosticating the effect/results of a lockout, when there is no NHL hockey is as cerebral and important as anything else here, and no more simplistic.